Donate books to help fund our work. Learn more→

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

The Christian Mystery
GA 97

XVI. The children of Lucifer, Love in the Spirit Taking the Place of Blood-based Love

4 April 1906, Düsseldorf

We can say that there are two kinds of people on earth. Two great spiritual streams may be seen among human beings. The difference between the two is that one kind seek to see everything in the light of knowledge whilst the other kind want to be guided, in a way. The very way in which the view of the world presented in the science of the spirit is received shows that the desire to look for bright, clear light is not widespread. The majority of people still have not reached the point where they want to know about everything. Many rather like to be befogged; it embarrasses them to be given complete clarity with regard to something. It will, however, be necessary to let go of anything that may cause the mind to be befogged. This also applies to the whole way we lead our lives. We need to be restrained also in feeding ourselves and avoid anything that will cloud consciousness, such as alcohol, for instance. Countless other things also prevent the clarity that is needed. Doing without such things will also make us more practical in everyday life. Belief in authority also puts us in darkness. We should let ourselves be stimulated by authority but not build on it.

Clarity, as it is meant here, has least to do with a subordinate way of seeing the higher worlds. Such a subordinate way is in fact connected with soul mists clouding the conscious mind. In earlier stages of human history this was widespread. In Atlantean times the human mind was much less clear than it is today. Today even the most savage tribes have gone far beyond the Atlanteans' state of mind. Going further and further back in human evolution we come to conditions where human beings had inner vision but did not grasp things with the rational mind. Rationality first began to dawn in the Atlantean race. At one time the Atlanteans lived in the place where Ireland is today. When another individual was approaching, astral images would arise in the Atlantean's mind. He was not yet able to reflect. Man was only able to say ‘I’ to himself when the forebrain had developed. Human beings first began to develop self-awareness in the part of Atlantis which is Ireland today. From there they spread through Europe and into Asia. The human bones found in the Neander valley came from the descendants of Atlanteans; these still had sloping foreheads. From then on, man very slowly learned to think rationally and develop self-awareness. When man began to live his life bearing the seed of the spirit in him here on earth he was already well beyond the animals, but as yet unable to speak or to think.

Divine spirits known as devas existed at the time who did not need a physical body but floated in astral space. They had gained the things they needed by being in a physical body on the moon. Other spirits had not completed their evolution on the Moon, had not been able to manage it. These are the luciferic spirits which lagged behind the devas. The gods, or devas, lived on something that had become a characteristic of humans on earth—love between two sexes. Love between human beings is the air, or the food, which the gods enjoy. In Greek mythology it was called nectar and ambrosia.

The cohorts of Lucifer had no real function in humanity for as long as human beings were still somnambulant. It was only in the fifth root race that they really made man their very own child. Human thinking is not all that old. Ancient wisdom lived among the earliest peoples. This ancient wisdom was revealed from within to the priests. True insight and perception only came a few centuries before the birth of the Christ, in about 600 BC. The power of judgement also only developed later in the world.

This brings us to an important mystery, a fact to be found among early peoples. To grasp this, we must be able to shine a light into the sphere of the soul. In a North American Indian tribe one hears strange terms used for family relationships. Among the Iroquois, first cousins were called ‘brothers and sisters’, but only the children of brothers, not those of sisters. This is a relic of ancient Atlantis. At that early period in human history, the family was all that mattered. A woman would have several husbands and it was impossible to say who was a child's father. All peoples originally had ancestors who would unconcernedly marry close relatives. Close blood bonds were not an obstacle to marriage. It was said that children from closely related parents were the most enlightened; they would be somnambulant. As evolution progressed, it happened more and more that people would marry who were not related by blood. It is a law that the union of individuals who were not so closely related the ether body came loose from its connection with the physical body. With marriages between blood relations the ether bodies of offspring would be firmly lodged. They would be illumined from within. They would still think more with the solar plexus but have no powers of judgement. This grew with distant marriages and showed itself to the degree to which the old marriages between blood relations disappeared. The old somnambulant vision would vanish then, and a new way of seeing things develop, power of judgement. This new period was referred to as the development of the Dionysian principle. Dionysus was cut to pieces, with only the heart preserved. When the Dionysian principle arose, people were cut to pieces and then brought together again through the heart, a meeting of souls, and this brought a complete change in sexual life. The rational mind is the earlier sexuality between relatives transformed.

The earlier developmental stages of humanity are recapitulated in seven-year rhythms in individual human lives. From the first to the seventh year, the child's ether body is still very much in the background. We therefore should not develop children's powers of memory before they reach their seventh year, only their senses. That is the time when we can influence the senses, rousing their inner powers with the help of the senses. We should stimulate those powers by giving children toys that bring their powers of imagination to life, perhaps a block of wood with dots painted on for eyes, and so on, but not dolls that are so complete that the child cannot add anything using his powers of imagination. From the seventh to the fourteenth year it is above all important to get children to develop firm habits that will give them something to hold on to later on in life. These are the years when everything by way of memory must be brought to the human being. It is thus better not to invoke the child's powers of judgement at this period in life. A child should have authority around him at that time but not be an authority himself. Influence him by telling stories, not preaching morals but refer to great examples. For moral development it would be necessary then to develop a feeling for it in the old Pythagorean form. Pythagoras131Pythagoras(C.582–C.507 BC), pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. It has not yet been possible to identify the quotes given here said to his pupils: ‘Do not strike into the fire with your sword’—indicating that one should not do useless things. Another Pythagorean axiom of this kind was: ‘Do not turn back on the road before you have reached the end of it.’ Human beings should only learn to make their own judgements and form their own opinions once they have reached sexual maturity. The ether body loosens at this time, and the astral body will only then be ready to take action in the outside world.

This evolution, today gone through by every individual in seven-year rhythms, was gone through by humanity in the course of its great periods of evolution. Some of the subordinate powers in the human being were raised to a higher level so that the power of judgement could develop. And only then was it possible for Lucifer's cohorts to intervene. This luciferic power comes to expression in people's independent judgement. In those times, when the luciferic principle was intervening, people for the first time did independent work. If you study the past, you can say to yourself: in those early times, all that came about was what was needed to make a family. The individuals who wanted to put a purely spiritual element in the place of blood relationship were working in the name of Lucifer. The Church had developed as a continuation of ancient priestly wisdom. But parallel to it the stream arose where people sought the light, luciferic people such as the Templars, for instance.132See Steiner R. Inner Impulses Working in the Evolution of Mankind (in GA 171). 7 lectures, Dornach 16-18, 23-25 Sept., 1 Oct. 1916. Tr. not known. Manuscript translation R 45, Rudolf Steiner House Library, London; and The Templars (in GA 171). Tr. not known. Lecture given in Dornach on 2 Oct. 1916. Manuscript translation Z 156, Rudolf Steiner House Library, London. They said one had to find one's own light and truth. There was a sect in the middle ages, its members calling themselves Luciferians, who understood this. They would say: ‘Man may be truly blessed indeed, but without the light of knowledge; this is not for us; we want to fight our way through to the light.’133Followers of Bishop Lucifer von Cagliari (d. 370), existing for a time in Sardinia, Spain, Gaul, Italy and Africa

These are the two streams in humanity. One seeks only to be blessed, the others want the light. Those who are afraid of knowledge consider Lucifer to be evil. But for the others Lucifer is the light-bearer, the bringer of light. This is written in a manuscript kept in the Vatican, but the Church is keeping it a secret, and the people who take this direction in the Church warn people against Lucifer.

Dogma may indeed contain truth. The Pythagorean theorem is dogma for those who do not understand it. But if they do understand it they gain clear, lucid insight. Dogmas are presented as something given by authority. When one understands them they, too, become lucid insight.

At the time when Paul lived, the nature of Christianity was such that it could lead to general love of humanity. A tribal and national religion was to become a world religion. Belief in revelations was connected with the blood-based community. Moses gave established laws. The Christ did not give established laws, and instead of the law there was grace. The inmost human soul was coming alive.

The aims pursued in the Church are a wave that is going down; those of people who want freedom of opinion a wave that is rising. Some brotherhoods, like the Templars for instance, endeavour to seek the light. The race which is striving for the light—those are the children of Lucifer.

At a time when Christianity is beginning to be strictly organized, Edouard Schure134Edouard Schuré (1841–1929). published his play The Children of Lucifer.135Authorized translation into German by Marie von Sivers and published in Leipzig in 1905. Rudolf Steiner then rewrote it in free rhythms (1909), published in Rudolf Steiner/Edouard Schuré Lucifer. Die Kinder des Lucifer, Dornach 1955. This is one stream in the Church, and there is also the other one, the luciferic principle. The children of Lucifer are the children of the inner light, not of belief in revelations. Those who seek to move on into the future must feel related in the spirit. It has been said in the science of the spirit that we must reach the light by our own efforts. Profound, most deeply inward freedom is to develop in the human soul.

The theosophical journal has been called Lucifer for good reason.136See Lucifer-Gnosis. Gesammelte Aufsätze, 1903–1908 (GA 34). See also reference to this in Steiner R. Rudolf Steiner, an Autobiography (GA 28). Tr. R. Stebbing. New York: Rudolf Steiner Publications 1977. It is connected with the inmost nature of the theosophical movement. It needs to be stated for once that the luciferic principle was deliberately cast into the world. When the Roman Catholic Church established the dogma of infallibility,1371869–70 Vatican Council—infallibility of the pope when he speaks ex cathedra on faith and morals. the emphasis on the luciferic principle provided the counter pole. Conversely we might say that the dogma of infallibility arose in polar relationship to the declaration of spiritual freedom in theosophy, for this was the only way the Church could save itself.